QUOTE(londoh @ May 5 2006, 06:33 AM) [snapback]1821336[/snapback]
When I found that Czech site I have put a link to my VOC buildingspage there. The next day I was contacted by someone from there who studied bahasa Indonesia in Solo.
Indeed,the Indonesians don't realize what valuable assets they have with those VOC buildings. Although on Ternate they were restoring these forts, in a way that did not cost that much money, but OK, they were doing something. But the last batch I photographed in Ambon and surrounding are mostly in a terrible state. They could do something very valuable with these. I am sure that sponsors for this kind of projects could be found with no great problems. If one sees the center of Malacca or Galle on Sri Lanka, lots of tourists going there. On Ambon I haven't seen a single tourist for more than 2 weeks.Right in the center of Solo there is Benteng Vastenburg, it's immense, but lays rotting there. Most of the buildings have been broken down, only 3 are stil standing there, around the gate. But all the woodwork has been stolen. The walls are still in a good condition. It is in hands of a private person, as the land is very valuable, right in the center of Solo. The could make a tourist market there, small restaurants, boutiques. But no, it just lays there waiting for dynamite and bulldozers to finish it and make way for a shopping mall or so. I have seen so many of these buildings in the meantime that I don't get sad anymore. I just want to registrate how they are now. Maybe in 25 years I have made something valuable, but for sure I am sleeping forever down a pohon kemboja then. But maybe, there are a few people who are talking abt. a book with me. This summer I go to Amsterdam to do some survey on these buildings.
I think the lack of tourists in Ambon is because the island just went through a period of extremely bloody religious conflict. Even people from other parts of Indonesia would think 100 times before visiting Ambon. If these forts were to be maintained, the best way is to tell the military to use them. I mean, who else have practical use for forts located in remote areas?
It seems the best-preserved fort in your collection is the Nieuw-Victoria Fort in Ambon City, which is because the fort is still used by Indonesian military. And that island Ambon definately could use more military outposts.
Jakarta also had its collection of VOC fortresses, the biggest of which was Batavia Castle
located in northern end of what is now Jakarta Kota between 1632-1809.
View of the castle from south
Interior of the castle, showing garrison church
View of the castle from Jakarta Bay (north)
So sad, the beautiful Batavia Castle was demolished along with almost all other beautiful VOC forts around Jakarta (Fort Antjol, Fort Rijswijk, Fort Tangerang, Fort Noordwijk) in 1809. Who did this destruction? None other but the Dutch governor-general Herman Willem Daendels himself because he needed the rubble as building material for his new capital in Weltevreden (today's Lapangan Banteng). Not only that, Daendels destroyed the beautiful neo-Baroque Nieuw Hollandse Kerk located to the left of today's Museum Sejarah Jakarta.
Daendels only left one fort left standing in Jakarta, the fort in Meester Cornelis (now Bukit Duri, Jatinegara). But that fortress was destroyed during the battle between the Dutch and British troops invading Java in 1811.
Not to mention, the beautiful Dutch mini-Versailles palace in Weltevreden (Lapangan Banteng) built by VOC governor-general Jacob Mossel in 1761 was demolished by the Dutch themselves in 1820.
Weltevreden Palace, demolished by the Dutch in 1820
It is clear the Dutch colonialists in Indonesia have little care about their own heritage. It is the Dutch themselves who are responsible for the destruction of VOC heritage in Indonesia since they carelessly demolished most of it long before Indonesia gained independence.